Born and raised in the Midwest, Nebraska to be specific, I have always had my Midwest values throughout life. An attitude of learn as much as you can, stick to whatever you are doing, and do it well. The old adage of “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well” is my motto.
I joined the Navy at age 18 right out of high school. I studied electronics and computers. The enlisted rate goes from E-1 to E-9. I made E-9 in 17 1/2 years when it normally takes around 24 years, if you made it at all, most don’t. I retired after 21 years in the Navy and went into “Corporate” where I worked for Control Data Corp. and Hitachi America Ltd. for 15 years. Then I went into Real Estate where I owned my own Real Estate Franchise, Avalar Real Estate and Mortgage.
However, in December 2007 I had a life changing experience as I assisted my mother-in-law in her dying process.
The power and clarity of that experience led me to join Sutter VNA Hospice (now called Sutter Care At Home Hospice) to be a Hospice Volunteer. Firmly believing that no one should have to die alone, I also trained with Sutter to be part of their Vigil program – sitting with a patient who is within hours of passing and all alone. Being a veteran, I joined the Sutter Hospice “We Honor Veterans” program and regularly put on my Navy dress blues and did a veteran’s presentation to the veteran Hospice patient. Sometimes, this is the first time that anyone has shaken their hand and thanked them for their service. I moved to VITAS Hospice in 2016. In 2017 I was awarded the prestigious VITAS BEST (Building Excellence, Satisfaction and Teamwork) award. I have been a Hospice Volunteer for 10 ½ years and have become a trusted guide for both the dying and their families.
I wanted to work directly in the healthcare field, so I retired from real estate to go back to school and get my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) California licenses. In 2010, I formed my own healthcare company, Avalar Health Care through which I work with private clients.
I am a certified mentor and speaker/presenter of the Healthcare Directive by the East Bay Conversation Project. The East Bay Conversation Project is a community-wide coalition dedicated to promoting understanding and engagement in "The Conversation" about advance care planning to ensure individuals' health care treatment preferences are known, documented, and honored.
Wanting to learn more to help people, I completed a 2-year program through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals and the American Academy of Grief Counseling to become a Certified Pastoral Thanatologist. I have a passion for expanding the public’s knowledge by giving presentations on Hospice, the Health Care Directive and the death and dying process.
I am also a guest lecturer at the California State University Maritime Academy, giving presentations on Hospice, the Health Care Directive, and Toastmasters.
As a Certified Pastoral Thanatologist, I do memorials and eulogies.
Now I am ready to serve you and your loved ones!
Now is the time to "take the bull by the horns" and take action on your end of life decisions! Call or email me NOW!